I don't have a lot of time to write. I just wanted to make a quick update.
First of all, thanks for your recent comments. Yes, I'm hard on myself. Always have been, I guess. Perhaps I'll learn how to stop that.
Tony and I drove back up to Mammoth and hiked up the Duck Pass trail to the PCT. Then we followed the PCT as it went by Devil's Postpile and up to Tuolumne Meadows. Then we continued on the John Muir Trail toward Half Dome (nope, didn't climb it) and down the Mist Trail into the valley. The Mist Trail was awesome with chiseled steps that plunged down into the valley floor.
We had the perfect camp near Half Dome with a perfect view and the warmest, most comfortable night. It was a wonderful trip for the two of us. I felt bad, though, for pushing Tony so hard. We did a couple of 18 milers and one 20+ miler that included Donahue Pass. Donahue Pass isn't one of the most difficult, but I struggled up it just the same. 11,056 ft and a little bit of snow.
Once I got back on the PCT at Duck Creek I started running into all my old friends. First I met Southern Man. Then by Thousand Island lake I bumped into a strange, huge crowd of people just sitting quietly, as PCT hikers will sometimes do. Among them were Sparky, who I hadn't seen since the turnoff to Mt. San Jacinto, and Mike and Kat who I hadn't seen since before I went to Big Bear. Later at Tuolumne I saw tons of hikers I didn't really know and down in the Valley I saw Hawkeye and Danger Prone. Everybody is still there, chugging along. It made me so happy to see everybody.
Part of what made our little hike so nice was that we had so many places to eat meals. We had the biggest tuna sandwich ever seen at Red's Meadow. Then at Tuolumne they have a cafe so we had burgers and ice cream. In the valley more food. Now back at Mammoth more food. Food! I love food.
I thought of quitting many times. Why not? Tony's here. I have a ride home. But we talked about it and I'm going to skip section I and go up to the start of section J at Sonora Pass and continue. Hopefully the lower elevation and lack of scary creek crossings will make it a pleasant journey. I probably won't see my friends, though, so we'll see how that works.
I only wish I could take a zero here in Mammoth. Alas, no.
See you down the trail.